WELP: NSW Announces Further Restrictions To Retail And In-Office Work After Today’s 111 Cases

sydney covid update 17 july

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced further lockdown restrictions for the Greater Sydney, Wollongong, Blue Mountains, and Central Coast areas from midnight tonight till the 30th of July. It comes after NSW confirms 111 cases of COVID-19 from 8pm last night.

Speaking at today’s daily NSW COVID-19 press conference, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said that from midnight tonight, a number of new changes will take effect. Here’s what you need to know.

From 11:59pm tonight, Saturday, the 17th of July:

  • Anyone who leaves their home must wear a mask with them at all times, including when working outdoors and in outdoor queues waiting for coffee or food.
  • Retail premises will be required to close and all non-critical retail will only be able to operate under click and collect, takeaway and home delivery.
  • Critical retail that will remain open includes: supermarkets and grocery stores (including butchers, bakeries, fruit and vege stores, bottle shops and seafood wholesalers); stores that predominantly sell health, medical, maternity and infant supplies; pharmacies and chemists; petrol stations; car hires; banks; hardware, nurseries and building supplies; agricultural and rural supplies; pet supplies; post offices and newsagents; and office supplies.
  • “Anything which is regarded as non-critical retail will not be able to have face to face [and] will be to have a click and collect, delivery or take away,” Berejiklian added.
  • People within the three main affected local government areas (Fairfield, Canterbury and Liverpool) are advised not to leave their LGA zone for work unless they are an essential worker. NSW Chief Medical Officer Kerry Chant said that 83 of today’s 111 cases were from southwest Sydney, 50 from Fairfield.

From midnight on Monday, the 19th of July:

  • All construction will be paused.
  • All non-urgent maintenance, including cleaning services and repair work on residential premises, will be paused.

From midnight on Wednesday, the 21st of July:

  • Employers must allow employees to work from home if they are able to do so. If they don’t, they can be met with an on-the-spot fine of up to $10,000.

29 of today’s 111 cases were in the community during their infectious period. It’s a number that Berejiklian says is “stubborn and won’t go down.”

“We know the impact this will have on businesses small and large but we need to limit the spread into the community.”

NSW Health adds that 59 are linked to a known case or cluster—47 are household contacts and 12 are close contacts—and 52 cases are under investigation.

There have been 162 personal infringement notices issued over the last 24 hours.

“What [that number] means is that the millions of people across the state doing the right thing are being let down by a small minority of people putting themselves at risk and their community at risk,” said NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys.

Earlier this week, a TikToker accurately guessed the last three days of COVID cases confirmed in NSW. In a TikTok video shared prior to today’s press conferences, he also claimed that we would be seeing 111 cases.

Earlier today, the NSW Government urged people in the Fairfield local government area to get tested after 294 cases were recorded over the last week. By contrast, just 25 were collectively reported in the three weeks prior.

In response to the outbreak, NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance is urging Sydney residents to register their Opal cards before using public transport to help contact tracers stay on top of the spread of the virus.

In a statement shared with PEDESTRIAN.TV this morning, Constance said: “We are using technology to do all we can to ensure our customers, frontline workers, and community are protected, with the ability to register your contactless card on top of the physical distancing and passenger occupancy notifications we introduced last year.”

Today’s 111 cases bring the total Bondi cluster to 1,137 since the first case was reported on the 16th of June. The state has seen 82,000 people come forward for testing and administered 23,715 COVID-19 vaccines in the last 24 hours.

Today’s new changes come after Premier Berejiklian extended the Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, and Wollongong lockdown till the 30th of July, and after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new COVID-19 recovery package for Australians affected by lockdown.